Jetlag and stress

My planner says “jetlag” in big letters this week. I put it in two months ago, when I was smart enough to realize that I should prevent myself from planning too much these days. I made Theo put it in his (digital) planner too. It’s so easy to just go ahead and fill those days up, but that would only cause stress.

When we arrived home Sunday, it seemed to go very well. I took a one hour nap and then I felt up and runnning. I unpacked, put away the clean clothes and did a few loads of laundry. On Monday I watered the plants, got some groceries, mopped the floor and did some other cleaning. Not because M. (our youngest daughter who still lives at home) didn’t do a good job keeping it clean, but because I wanted to. To feel like it was my home again. Since it did feel a little weird to be here again.

Most of our routines fell back in place immediately though. Including our drinking too much coffee. Both Theo and I have a tendency to walk to the kitchen and get a cuppa without even thinking about it. Luckily our luxerious self grinding coffee-with-one-push-on-the-button-maker is not working so well anymore and beyond repair (used so much over the years). We are finishing the beans we have and then we go back to a traditional coffee maker. That will prevent us from getting back to our usual 12+ (20?) cups a day. On Curacao we went back to four and that’s a whole lot healthier.

Other things are harder to get used to again. The whole country is beaming about the warm weather, but I’m wearing thick sweaters and a winter coat all buttoned up when I go out. The last few weeks we thought it was chilly when it was about 78 degrees outside and even this extremely warm spring doesn’t get close to that.

Even though Sunday and Monday I got the idea we were so rested that I was only having a minor jetlog, on Tuesday it hit. Hard. I couldn’t get up and I felt sick. Dizzy. Sore throat. Maybe hay fever. Or just a cold? I don’t know, but it lasted all day and I gave in to it. I just clicked around on the internet (but was too dizzy to comment) and read a book. Today I did do something (like writing this), but I still don’t feel very well. I think I’m taking the rest of the day off again, since you can’t do much with a brain that just doesn’t work. And I’m too dizzy to do anything off the couch.

Luckily I knew this beforehand and wrote “jetlag” above this week in my planner in February. So I don’t haven anything to do this week. Ha!

It’s Wednesday and I still haven’t put sorted the mail or did anything about the book keeping that I couldn’t do from a distance (I kept up with it digitally, but I have to print and number and sort stuff the old-fashioned way to). Tonight we’re picking up E. who’s coming home from Durham for Easter and who I’m quite sure will bring a suitcase full of laundry. And I have to write a newsletter about my books and this blogpost, both in English and Dutch. That’s all listed neatly below “jetlag”. Not to mention all the lists in my mind. The garden for instance. Oh my!

Obviously its’s the bad habits that you get back on track with the easiest. Like the coffee. And stress. I’m hardly home and already I’m making too long lists again of things that can wait. But that’s not what I want. I’m living in, or actually between, two worlds right now and I really want to take the best of both. And the relaxed way of life that is so normal there and so rare here is one of the best things about the Caribean.

So I’m reminding myself of our landlord and his best friend. They often came to pick up the motor that was stored next to our apartment. They hand a little boat that they took out to sea often. I don’t know if they ever caught something, but that wasn’t the point.

Every time they took the motor, they said the same: “We’re going to throw away some stress. One has to do that regularly, that’s good for you.”
They are so right!

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(pictures from our last day on the island. More pictures here – I’m planning to translate these “plogs” and move them to this blog, but that will have to wait a little while ;-) - see above.)

1 comment:

  1. well - home again, home again. :)
    i hope that you can settle back in and not get too wound up over the things it feels like you should do. do what really matters each day and get some rest each day, too! your body is probably also more stressed from the temperature change! that would throw me off!
    hugs to you!

    p.s. i told the kids about the sopa iguana - they thought they might like to try it!

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